Ecological Research Station
Institute of Plant and Animal Ecology
Ural Branch
Russian Academy of Sciences
629400, Zelenaya Gorka Str., 21, 
Yamal-Nenets Autonomous District
Station Manager:
Aleksandr Sokolov

TA/RA contacts:
Aleksandr Sokolov
  • Phone: +7 34992 51889
  • Fax: +7 34992 51887

Collaborator in the project until spring 2022


The Arctic Research Station (former Labytnangi Ecological Research Station) is owned and managed by the Institute of Plant and Animal Ecology of the Ural Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences.


The station is located in the town Labytnangi (66,6595° N, 66,4092° E), Yamal-Nenets Autonomous District, Russia. The nearest larger town is Salekhard (less than 20 km to the Southeast) – capital of YNAD. Labytnangi is situated on the bank of the Ob’ River – one of the largest rivers in the world.


Labytnangi (c. 25 000 inhabitants) is situated in the forest-tundra zone of the Yamal Peninsula. In very close vicinity there are different geographical zones: taiga zone to the south and up by the Ob River, shrubby tundra zone begins to the north from the town, Polar Ural mountains is in 40 km to the west. Yamal Peninsula is the area were most eastern populations of many European species of flora and fauna meet most western populations of many Siberian species. Both taiga and tundra species are present in the area.


The station was established in 1954, driven by two main aims, i.e. (i) to conduct ecosystem studies on a year-round basis by the own staff of researchers, and (ii) to create a logistics base for the researchers of core Institute of Plant and Animal Ecology (Yekaterinburg) and for other Universities. The 3,2 ha of station territory situated almost on the center of Labytnangi, consists of office and lab buildings, a garage and storage for expedition equipment. In 2016, the office building was renewed, and a new garage was built. Telephone, fax, copy machines, and computer with Internet access are available at the Station. The station can host 20-25 people at a time and a wide variety of field equipment is available for rent. A meteostation measuring basic weather parameters started at the station in 2015. Since 2000, every year researchers of the ARS run a terrestrial tundra ecosystems monitoring program on the base of latitudinal gradient of field stations along the Yamal peninsula: “Kharp”(66,77 N), “Erkuta” (68,22 N), “Sabetta” (71,19 N), “Beliy Island” (73,33 N). For example,the field station “Erkuta”, with the support of Yamal Government,is now equipped with several containers for living and equipment storage, as well as a lab. The facility is supplied by a solar power station and can be used year round.


Researchers of the ARS study tundra terrestrial ecosystems focused on plant-herbivory-predator levels. Long-term studies on small rodents have been carried out for more than 50 years in different sub-zones of the Yamal Peninsula. Population dynamics of birds have been monitored since the 1970s. Researchers of the ARS are active participants of world working groups of researchers on Snowy Owl, Arctic Fox, Small Rodents, Arctic Falcons and several other species. The Yamal peninsula provides unique possibilities for researchers to simultaneously measure the effects of all three major drivers of modern changes: (i) fast industrial development and population growth, (ii) climate change, (iii) extensive reindeer herding – nowadays YNAD has the biggest reindeer herd in the world (ca. 700 000 animals). Additionally, researchers from the core Institute who work on the base of ARS have for about 40 years every year carried out r monitoring of fish resources of YNAD. The Arctic Research Station cooperates with a number of international partners, mainly from other northern countries.


The Yamal-Nenets Autonomous District is one of the largest regions in the Russian Federation. It occupies a vast territory of 770 000 km2, and is primarily known for its large deposits of hydrocarbon raw materials. The population of indigenous people (Nenets) is growing and is today about 40 000. Yamal is one of the few places in the world where the traditional way of life is well preserved and about 15 000 of the inhabitants still live a traditional nomadic life.


There is a railway station in Labytnangi with trains to Moscow three times a week (a 48 hour trip). The airport is situated in capital of YNAD – Salekhard, just on the other bank of the Ob’ River, with several daily flights to Moscow (3 hours), Tyumen (1,5 hours) and some other destinations. Regular helicopter flights to small villages are also available. There is no need to obtain any special permits to visit cities Labytnangi, Salekhard or Arctic Research Station.

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